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Old 08-10-2012, 11:13   #211
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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Sounds like a good day of training - What is a 'chicken gybe" - new term for me...
It was more like going back 10 years in time when I had to figure out this stuff by myself.

A "chicken gybe" is tacking the bow through 270 or so degrees in order to avoid gybing the main through DDW. It's easier on the gear, arguably, particularly when the conditions are sporadically gusty. Think "rotate the boat under the main and then ease the main as needed".

It was the first time I'd done it in years, but I thought it was a more prudent course given that I had a tallish child aboard who might not anticipate where the boom would end up or how the boat might suddenly heel if I had to lock the sheet down to avoid clipping her in the head.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:33   #212
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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Owen Lange has written several books on local weather hazards in the area. He makes no references to issues in this particular area.

One possibility:

The NW wind in Juan de Fuca in the summer daytime is often an anabatic (onshore) wind. As the temperature drops you can get a offshore breeze developing. If there was a a systemic SW wind associated with a low pressure the two of them could result in a strong SW wind.

A katabatic wind off the Olympic mountains is also possibility, but Lange makes no reference that in his books.
Cool. I would be very interested in purchasing such a book. I had travelled the area a few times, and was purposely trying to stay on the south side of the strait to stay out of trouble. I had not heard of any problems over here either Jack! We were tired and looking forward to a boring sail to Edmonds....
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:53   #213
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

Link to Owen Lange

http://www.amazon.ca/s?_encoding=UTF...alias=books-ca
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Old 08-10-2012, 17:15   #214
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

Jack, Which one do you recommend: "The wind came from all ways" or"The veil of chaos"? Those two titles alone aught to give you a idea of what we are up against... :-)
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Old 08-10-2012, 17:34   #215
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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Jack, Which one do you recommend: "The wind came from all ways" or"The veil of chaos"? Those two titles alone aught to give you a idea of what we are up against... :-)
Living with the Weather covers the whole of the BC coast and Puget Sound.

The Wind Came From All Ways covers Georgia Strait.
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Old 08-10-2012, 17:37   #216
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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On a fin keel boat, I am reluctant to use only a jib; that will result in an unbalanced boat. A deep reef in the main and storm jib is a more prudent way to go.

The jib only may work on a full keel boat.
My experience has been to the contrary. My last boat was a fraction-rigged, bulb-keeled sloop, and was extremely stable off the wind with jib only. My current boat is a masthead-rigged, fin-keeled sloop, and it not only sails well off the wind with jib only, but it also close-reaches respectably with just the jb, especially in heavy air.

Yesterday, coming back from the final Americas Cup World Series fleet race, we saw 30 knots apparent while crossing the Berkeley Slot, and we skittered along at eight knots under just the high-clew 85% jib (Yankee). Not quite hull speed, but close enough to get us home before sunset.
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Old 08-10-2012, 17:40   #217
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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My experience has been to the contrary. My last boat was a fraction-rigged, bulb-keeled sloop, and was extremely stable off the wind with jib only. My current boat is a masthead-rigged, fin-keeled sloop, and it not only sails well off the wind with jib only, but it also close-reaches respectably with just the jb, especially in heavy air.

Yesterday, coming back from the final Americas Cup World Series fleet race, we saw 30 knots apparent while crossing the Berkeley Slot, and we skittered along at eight knots under just the high-clew 85% jib (Yankee). Not quite hull speed, but close enough to get us home before sunset.

In my head, I am now comparing my Hunter, a true skinny fin keel, with my friend's boat, which has a fatter fin keel with a heavy bulb. Neither are fractional rigs.

My boat is not well balanced with the jib only, although I have only tried it with a pretty big genny. His boat gets nearly all its power from the headsail, and is extremely well balanced without the mainsail.

I think that weighted keel may make a big difference here?
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Old 08-10-2012, 18:00   #218
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

I hope impressionable people following this thread will not be misled (by the direction in which the discussion has evolved) into thinking that gybing will kill you only when winds are strong or gusty.

The only thing that changes significantly when winds become very strong is the chances of a preventer breaking. Otherwise it's just degrees of being dead.

Think about how hard a free-swinging door can slam even in a relatively light breeze.

A preventer should be standard operating procedure on cruising sailboats in most situations and windstrengths.

Exceptions might include racing fully crewed, manoeuvring in settled conditions, high boom/short crew....
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Old 08-10-2012, 18:11   #219
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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I hope impressionable people following this thread will not be misled (by the direction in which the discussion has evolved) into thinking that gybing will kill you only when winds are strong or gusty.

The only thing that changes significantly when winds become very strong is the chances of a preventer breaking. Otherwise it's just degrees of being dead.

Think about how hard a free-swinging door can slam even in a relatively light breeze.

A preventer should be standard operating procedure on cruising sailboats in most situations and windstrengths.

Exceptions might include racing fully crewed, manoeuvring in settled conditions, high boom/short crew....

Anyone in my cockpit is clear of the boom, even standing up. I don't race, so it doesn't matter to me if a jybe takes ten more seconds or not. When I PLAN a gybe, I bring the boom to nearly center so it will only swing in a very small arc. Even with that and a bimini between them and the boom, it makes nubies jump. Good instincts there...
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Old 08-10-2012, 18:15   #220
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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Overkill?
Maybe just more experienced crew... or send one of them up.
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Old 08-10-2012, 18:15   #221
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

An uncontrolled gybe will also do serious damage to the gooseneck. I have also heard reports of dismasting.

The command "Prepare to gybe" should be followed by the main being centered.
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Old 08-10-2012, 18:19   #222
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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My boat is not well balanced with the jib only, although I have only tried it with a pretty big genny.
I dislike genoas, and refuse to have anything larger than 110% on a cruising boat. A #1 was fine back in my racing days, but....

Anyway, this could possible explain the difference. It's also the case that some fin-keelers are more prone to yawing than others. Depends not only on where the mast got stuck, but also how big the rudder is. Since big, stable rudders can tend to slow down a boat, many racer/cruisers go with "undersize" rudders.

(For what it's worth, I dislike racer/cruisers designs almost as much as I dislike genoas.)
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Old 08-10-2012, 18:39   #223
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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An uncontrolled gybe will also do serious damage to the gooseneck. I have also heard reports of dismasting.

The command "Prepare to gybe" should be followed by the main being centered.

But you'd be surprised (no, you wouldn't) at how many people don't do that, just let the boom swing wide and wild. I have had people tell me, when I said that was a lot of force on the goose neck, "Oh, it can take it." Well, it can ... till it can't.
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Old 08-10-2012, 18:42   #224
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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I dislike genoas, and refuse to have anything larger than 110% on a cruising boat. A #1 was fine back in my racing days, but....

Anyway, this could possible explain the difference. It's also the case that some fin-keelers are more prone to yawing than others. Depends not only on where the mast got stuck, but also how big the rudder is. Since big, stable rudders can tend to slow down a boat, many racer/cruisers go with "undersize" rudders.

(For what it's worth, I dislike racer/cruisers designs almost as much as I dislike genoas.)

Well, my friend's boat is a racing boat, not a racer/cruiser, but when I looked under the boat, it looked like a good sized rudder (but what do I know about that? Not much.) Neither boat yaws excessively IMO, but his is very steady -- steadier than mine, bow to stern. She's just a lovely boat to sail.
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Old 08-10-2012, 18:50   #225
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Re: sailboats can injure and kill

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
In my head, I am now comparing my Hunter, a true skinny fin keel, with my friend's boat, which has a fatter fin keel with a heavy bulb. Neither are fractional rigs.

My boat is not well balanced with the jib only, although I have only tried it with a pretty big genny. His boat gets nearly all its power from the headsail, and is extremely well balanced without the mainsail.

I think that weighted keel may make a big difference here?

I think that the "lead" (distance between front edge of keel stub and mast) has much more to do with this than the weight or even righting moment of the keel. Also the fore and aft positioning of both keel and mast, as well as whether the rudder is spade or skeg hung and how big the skeg may or may not be.
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